News publishers are moving away from advertising as their most important revenue stream, according to the latest data from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. In a global survey of 163 senior publishing figures, only 35% said advertising will be their main digital source of revenue in 2019. Display ads proved more popular, at 27%, compared to native advertising's 8%. Instead, news publishers will be focusing their efforts on driving income from subscriptions.
However, news publishers do see a supporting role for advertising in generating revenue. Over 80% of respondents said they see an important role for display ads, while three-quarters said the same for native advertising. This is significantly higher than other revenue streams like donations, e-commerce and events.
Sustaining subscription revenues has become increasingly more important, as global print ad expenditure has more than halved over the last decade. The Reuters Institute notes that given the unwillingness of some to pay for content, news consumption may soon reach a limit. Indeed, time spent consuming news flatlined in 2018 at one hour and 37 minutes.